December 12, 2008

Low-carb diets may cause memory loss

A U.S. psychologist says a low carbohydrate diet can reduce memory skills.

Holly A. Taylor of Tufts University said dieters who eliminated carbohydrates from their meals performed more poorly on memory-based tasks than when they reduce calories, but maintain carbohydrates, the university said Wednesday in a release. She said reduced carbohydrate intake reduces the brain's source of energy.

The data suggest that after a week of severe carbohydrate restriction, memory performance, particularly on difficult tasks, is impaired, Taylor said. Cognition skills returned to normal when carbohydrates were reintroduced.

The report was published earlier this year in the journal Appetite.